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Weekly Article

信心樂捐

 

  「每逢七日的第一日,各人要照自己的進項抽出來留著。」(林前162
  
在一個宣教大會中,聖靈感動許多人都願意奉獻金錢幫助在國外的佈道工作。有一個十歲的孩子名叫亞力山大達福,他也十分受感動,但他沒有錢奉獻。於是他請收奉獻的人將盤子放在地上,他就站在盤子上說﹕「神啊,我奉獻我自己。」從那日起,他就預備自己,後來他果然成為神所重用的一位宣道士。

   什麼是信心的奉獻?就是預備自己將來奉獻。我們人都是只顧眼前的,我有了,多餘用不了,我才給別人。這種的施予是不需要信心的。如果是按照我收入的比例奉獻,這已經成了習慣,不容易學會信靠神的功課,更不可能看見神奇妙的作為。有時神要我們先預備將來的奉獻。保羅教導哥林多教會,要在他們例常奉獻之外,開辨慈惠的事工(林後86),就是用財物幫助其他教會有需要的信徒。他們自己應許要用一年的時間籌款(林後81092)。保羅讚揚這種信心的奉獻,也很關心整個計劃的進行,並且先派幾位弟兄去幫助他們預備妥當,好叫保羅到達時,錢可以湊齊(林後95)。

   信心奉獻的原則是「少種的少收,多種的多收」。我們有多大的信心,神就賜給我們多大的恩典,叫我們所應許的捐貲可以成就。有人常引用林後9:7 「各人要隨本心所酌定的,不要作難,不要勉強」,解釋我們奉獻金錢沒有實數比例,只要照個人自己的意思。其實這句話是針對信心的奉獻,或是救濟窮人(申1510)。我們對教會例常的奉獻是本份。十分之一是舊約的標準;在新約我們所有的都是屬於神的,所以至少應當是十分之一。信心奉獻是在此之外。

   今天我們在美聖建堂,我們需要一筆購堂或購地的基金,這是一個學習信心奉獻的機會,盼望弟兄姊妹能全心的支持,好看見神在我們中間奇妙的作為。

 

Faith Pledge

  

  “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up.” (1 Cor. 16: 2)

   During a mission conference, the Holy Spirit touched many hearts and people were willing to offer money to help foreign mission work.  A young child about ten years old named Alexander Duff was moved also, but he had no money to offer.  So he asked the person collecting the money to place the plate on the ground.  He stepped on it and prayed. “God, I offer myself.”  From that day on, he prepared himself.  Later he becomes a missionary used by God mightily.

     What is a faith pledge?  It is to prepare to offer.  As human, we all care what we can see.  If I have enough, then I can help others.  This kind of giving does not need faith at all.  If we have the habit of giving tithe, then it is hard for us to learn to depend on God.  We will not be able to see God’s marvelous deed.  Sometimes, God wants us to prepare offering for the future needs.  Paul taught Corinthians, asked them in addition to regular offering to open a ministry of benevolent (2 Cor. 8-6), that is to help other Church member’s needs.  They gave themselves one year of time to pledge the money (2 Cor. 8-10; 9:2).  Paul praised this kind of faith pledge.  He also cared about the progress of the whole plan.  He sent several brothers to help them to prepare the collection so that when he arrived, the money could be ready (2 Cor. 9:5).

   The principle of faith pledge is “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  The bigger our faith is, the greater God’s grace will be.  His grace will enable us to accomplish the goal.  Some people like to quote 2 Cor9: 7 “ Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion.”  They use it to explain why they do not give tithe.  Actually, this verse is not for regular offering but to the faith pledge or the benevolent ministry (Dut. 15:10).  To tithe is our duty.  It started in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament all our things belong to God.  At least we should offer one-tenth.  However, faith pledge is additional.

   Today we have church-planting in Mason.  We need a sum of money as fund for the meeting place.  This is the opportunity for us to learn to depend on God.  I hope all brothers and sisters can support the faith pledge, therefore we can see God’s marvelous work among us.

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